Top political analyst changes outlook for 5th District race to ’tilt Democrat’

A major political analyst has changed the outlook for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District from toss-up to “tilt Democrat.”

Inside Elections made the rating change this week for the tight race between Republican state Sen. Victoria Spartz and former Democratic state lawmaker Christina Hale. It was one of 24 U.S. House race rating changes announced.

Republican State Sen. Victoria Spartz (left) and Democrat Christina Hale, a former state representative and 2016 lieutenant governor candidate, (right) are running for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and Cook Political Report—two other major rating analysts—both still considered the race a toss-up as of Friday morning.

The winner in the 5th District will replace retiring Republican Congresswoman Susan Brooks, who has held the seat since 2013. The district includes the northern portion of Marion County, eastern portion of Boone County and all of Hamilton County, along with all of Tipton, Madison and Grant counties and part of Howard and Blackford counties.

The race, which is among the most closely watched in the country, has steadily shifted in favor of Democrats during the months of the campaign. In July, only Sabato’s Crystal Ball considered the race a toss-up, while Inside Elections and Cook Political Report still considered it to slightly favor Republicans. Inside Elections and Cook Political Report later shifted the race to toss-up.

Money has been pouring into the race, with nearly $12 million spent on TV advertising alone.

Spartz and Hale have collectively raised nearly $6.2 million and spent $5.4 million.

Health care insurance has been one of the biggest issues in the race, with Hale pushing the message that she would fight for affordable coverage for individuals, including a public option, and Spartz arguing that government-run health insurance is a bad idea but individuals with preexisting conditions should be covered.

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16 thoughts on “Top political analyst changes outlook for 5th District race to ’tilt Democrat’

    1. Stephen J. – It’s totally normal for people outside of a particular state to contribute to a competitive race. Spartz loaned her campaign $1,200,000, that she will surely repay herself with campaign funds win, lose or draw. In the 3Q, both received most of their contributions from individuals and a smaller percentage from PACs. I don’t get the smear that suburbanites are naïve. Face it, many voters are aligned with a party and don’t know a thing about the candidates. And anyone who is swayed by a TV ad without doing even a modicum of their own research into the candidates policies, is a low-information voter who barely deserves a vote – on both sides.

  1. Based off of what information? I haven’t seen a “poll” out of that district in months. Sabato is just another liberal hack. Hopefully re-districting efforts at the state house this year will take into account the growing naivety of those flocking to Hamilton County because of the amenities Republicans helped created for so many decades.

    1. “Amenities?” I’m a Republican and even I’m confused about what “amenities” we’ve created in Hamilton County? Do you mean the huge debt Carmel Mayor Brainard’s has run up.

  2. And there it is. IBJ has finally shown its hand. Did anyone here think IBJ was fair and balanced?
    Next weeks headline democrats were cheated out of the 5th District by racist republicans.

    1. The IBJ is reporting news. Just because you don’t like a news story does not make it wrong, leftist, liberal, socialist, or whatever other word you want to call it. I bet you think OAN and Fox are fair and balanced, right?

  3. Spartz’s problem is that she had to firmly lash herself to Trump to win the primary, but Trump is unpopular in that district among everyone who isn’t Trump’s hardcore base of supporters. Sabato is a very well-respected analyst. He is a straight shooter…the claim he is a “lliberal” who puts his finger on the scale is ludicrous. Other analysts rate the district as a toss-up.

    The district is certainly competitive. If I had to pick a likely winner, I’d have to go with Hale. But I agree with the toss-up status. The more rural area of that district is highly Trumpian. The problem is the northside of Indianapolis and the Indy suburbs in Hamilton County.

  4. Wow….
    Imagine if all that money could have gone to help small businesses and restaurants to help during the mayors lockdowns. Or businesses destroyed by rioting?
    Our political system has become a joke with PAC’s. They have/are destroying democracy.

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